NaPoWriMo Prompt 20

Day Twenty On April 20, 2022

“….And now for today’s (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that anthropomorphizes a kind of food. It could be a favorite food of yours, or maybe one you feel conflicted about. I feel conflicted about Black Forest Cake, for example. It always looks so pretty in a bakery window, and I want to like the combination of cherries and chocolate . . . but I don’t. But how does the cake feel about it?”

Eggs, Being Weird

Scenario: Breakfast.

Eggs on the plate, sunny-side up. Bacon,

stretched out alongside. Eggs don’t like it.


“Why you always crowding me?” they ask.

“You’re too crisp, likely to poke a hole in

my big sunny-yellow eye! Getcher own space!”


“And, yo, you! Toast! Dried-out pieces

of flour and water! Need butter and jam

for any hint of taste!”


“But us, we eggs are versatile, tasty, good

hot or cold, fried, poached or omelette-ified!

And we’re not weird, even for snacks!”

Carol A. Stephen

April 27, 2022

NaPoWriMo Prompt 19

Day Nineteen On April 19, 2022

“Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command. It could be as uncomplicated as “Look,” as plaintive as “Come back,” or as silly as “Don’t you even think about putting that hot sauce in your hair.” Whatever command you choose, I hope you have fun ordering your readers around.”

So, I have several chronic conditions, and some overlap, so when I am symptomatic, I’m not always sure which one is responsible. Or if it is all of them! Or none, and just plain anxiety…

Don’t Tell Me

Don’t tell me to just get over it!

Nor to stop worrying—

it’s what I do.


There’s a little voice that says

if you think the worst, then anything less

is good news. 


It says, if you prepare for the bad things

the lesser things don’t hit so hard. But,

between you and me…


the catastrophizing means suffering twice.

Once, in the imagination, then later,

when reality comes flying in the door.


Today, I wonder how many symptoms

are real, and how many just anticipation

that something might be wrong.


How many are health-related, and how many

a figment of anxiety and those always-present


Carol A. Stephen

April 27, 2022

NaPoWriMo Prompt 18

Day Eighteen On April 18, 2022 “…Last but not least, here is today’s prompt (optional, as always). It’s based on Faisal Mohyuddin’s poem “Five Answers to the Same Question.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered.”

Five Answers to Something

Cotton socks, black, white

and tan, pairs for all occasions


tee shirts, all the colours of the rainbow

long sleeves for winter, short for summer


fleece pajamas, two pairs, with nightgowns

some with pants too, some without


sweatpants, grey, purple, navy, wheat,

sweatshirts, grey, white, and lighter grey


sweaters, striped and plain, wool and polyester,

thick stitch and thin, every kind for every sort of weather.

Carol A. Stephen

April 18, 2022

NaPoWriMo Prompt Seventeen

Day Seventeen On April 17, 2022

“…here’s our daily (optional) prompt. This is a fun one – it’s a prompt developed by the comic artist Lynda Barry, and it asks you to think about dogs you have known, seen, or heard about, and then use them as a springboard into wherever they take you.”


Well, I’m mostly a cat person, so…but there is one dog, lives next door. Still a puppy, but the voice is well-developed by now.

No Life for a Sled Dog

Mornings, early, he’s let out

into the yard near my kitchen window.

Not much to amuse him: a water bowl, bricks,

planters filled with dirt to scratch in.


He whines. And whines. Then breaks into a howl:

the kind of sound you hear out in the woods

when there’s wolves about. He holds a note

like an opera star: high-pitched and sorrowful.


Dog’s too big, too full of energy for a townhome.

He ought to be out running, not tied up in a sparse

yard. Not held on a short leash when it’s walk time.

I feel sad to hear him sing his dog song.


Evenings, he accompanies the piano I can hear

through the living room wall. Sometimes the sound

rises to the bedroom, but faint, and I wonder what

the words might be if he had words to sing.

Carol A. Stephen

April 17, 2022